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Should I sell my house now?



Article By Angella Kerr - Home Owners Alliance Online


Spring is finally here and so you might be wondering “should I sell my house now?”. What impact is the cost of living crisis having on the housing market? And what about higher mortgage rates? We look at the why, despite all of this, now is as good a time as any to sell.


Yes. If you want to sell your house now, with house prices dipping after many years of house price increases, it might be a good time to capitalise on house price growth in case it wanes any further, especially if you’re selling a Buy to Let property or second home.

It’s also worth noting that despite what commentators and the media are saying about house prices, people still need to move home for a myriad of personal reasons. These include:

  • Death, debt and divorce which are perennial drivers of house sales and purchases

  • Relocating for a job

  • Being ready to downsize

  • Your family expanding and a need for more space

  • You’re selling a second or inherited home

Unlike investors driven by profits and house prices, a homeowner’s priority will be to act on what’s best for their personal circumstances. Having said that, our homes are often our biggest financial asset, so it’s worth understanding what’s happening in the market when deciding the answer to ‘Should I sell my house now?’


What’s happening with the property market right now?


According to Nationwide, the average house price went from £260,420 in February 2024 to £261,142 in March 2024. It reported that activity in the housing market is definitely picking up month on month which is good news for sellers. Read more in our monthly House Price Report.

The housing market does appear to be subdued for Spring however. This largely reflects the impact of higher mortgage rates on affordability. With the Bank of England deciding to hold interest rates for another month, the best mortgage rates available are still historically high, now between 4% and 5%.


Will house prices crash in 2024?


House prices are predicted by many experts to fall by 1%-3% in 2024 but a crash is not expected. And in fact, some experts predict prices will end the year higher than they started. And remember: there was some speculation that house prices would crash by 20% in 2023 but that didn’t happen. Read more in our guide House price forecast: What will happen to the housing market in 2024?


Are houses selling?


Are houses actually selling in the UK? HMRC data shows that residential property transactions in February 2024 was 3% lower than the same month in 2023.

However, things are looking up. It’s also clear consumer sentiment generally is improving. Nationwide reported cost-of-living pressures were easing as inflation moves back towards target. Surveyors reported a pickup in new buyer enquiries and new instructions to sell in recent months. And income growth is continuing to outpace house price growth by a healthy margin, housing affordability is improving, albeit gradually.

Rightmove reported in March 2024 that the average time to find a buyer is 71 days, the longest at this time of year since 2019. Attractively priced properties are quickly being cherry-picked, but over-optimistically priced sellers are taking longer to find a buyer.


Should I sell my house now or wait?


If you need to sell your house, such as because you need to relocate, then don’t let speculation over property prices delay you making this decision. No-one really knows what will happen with house prices in the future so you need to do what is right for you.

And if you’re wondering ‘Should I sell my house now or wait’ because your property has fallen in value, you may find the property you want to buy will also have fallen in value too, which will help to even it out.


Is it a bad time to sell your house?


If you’re asking ‘Should I sell my house now?’ in the UK and you’re in no rush to sell the property, such as if it’s a Buy to Let then you may choose to hold off for a few years in the hope its value increases in the future. However, if you do plan to put it on the market, read our guide on Selling a Buy to Let property.

But for most homeowners, the decision on whether to sell their home will depend on what’s best for them personally, such as can they get a mortgage on the property they want to buy and if they need to buy a bigger property, rather than when is a good or bad time to sell a house.


How to know if it’s the right time for you to sell


When it comes to the question ‘Should I sell my house now?’ there is lots of research you can do to establish if now is the right time.

  • Check the competition: Look at Rightmove and Zoopla as though you’re a buyer – what competition would your home have? What prices are similar homes going for? How long are properties like yours being marketed for? Are prices being reduced?

  • Speak to local estate agents: How strong is demand for a property like yours?

  • You’ll also want to ask them about average sales time in your area too.

  • Check local sold prices using the Land Registry sold prices checker


Will I have to reduce my asking price if I sell now?


Whenever you put your house on the market it’s crucial to put it on for the right price. This should lower the risk of needing to reduce your asking price if you don’t get enough interest from buyers. The first step is to get an idea of what it’s worth with an instant online valuation. Find out more in our guide What price should I sell my house for?


Should I sell my house now or extend it?

If you’re asking ‘Should I sell my house now?’ because you need a bigger home, can you get the space you need by extending? You’ll avoid moving costs like conveyancing fees and stamp duty too. There’s lots to consider, such as will your extension plans add value to your home and whether you’ll need planning permission. You may find this is an excellent alternative if you’re asking ‘Should I sell my house now?’ Find out more in our guide Home Extension: where do I start?


Should I sell my house now or rent it out?


Alternatively, you may be asking should I sell my house now or rent it out? This may make sense if for example, you’re moving temporarily, perhaps for work, and you want to keep the option of moving back to your old house. Or if it’s an attractive rental property likely to generate good rental income. Our rental calculator can give you a good idea of how much.

There’s a lot to think about; unless you’re planning to let it out for a short period and your mortgage lender gives you ‘consent to let’ so you can rent it out, you’ll need to switch to a Buy to Let mortgage. There are tax implications too. Read more in our guide Should I sell my home or rent it out?

For more advice speak to local estate agents,

When is the most popular time to sell a house?


The most popular times to sell a house traditionally is Spring or early Autumn. Spring is particularly popular time as we head into the warmer weather and Rightmove has reported March as the month it sees the highest number of enquiries per property on sale. It reports April as the next-strongest month to sell a property, followed by May.

But don’t let this put you off if you’re asking should I sell my house now in the UK and want to get your home on the market. You need to consider trends in your local market so choose a good estate agent and ask them to show you the figures tailored to your area and your property type. See our guide when is the best time to sell my house?


What is the worst month to sell a house?


Traditionally, August and December have been considered the worst months to sell a house. In August, many people are away on holiday while in December, people are gearing up for Christmas. Although if you’re on the market over Christmas you may benefit from the ‘Boxing Day bounce’.


Should I sell my house now to avoid falling into negative equity?


Negative equity occurs when the market value of your house is below the outstanding mortgage secured on it. Negative equity is more common when house prices are falling and it is a major concern when you want to sell your home. Whether you are at risk of this depends on your circumstances. If you bought recently with a small deposit you will be at a higher risk. And you’ll also want to consider how likely it is that you’ll want to move house in the near future. Find out more in our guide What can I do about do about negative equity.


Should I sell my rental property?


If you own a Buy to Let property, you may be asking should I sell my house now? Various factors may have made owning your Buy to Let property less profitable in recent months and years, such as increasing Buy to Let mortgage rates.

So if the figures don’t stack up for you anymore and want to sell, read our guide Selling a Buy to Let Property. You’ll need to decide whether to sell your Buy to Let with sitting tenants or with vacant possession. Read more in our useful guide on Selling a house with tenants.

However, selling a house with vacant possession doesn’t mean you have to miss out on rental income if you think a short-term let is possible whilst you sell your home.

Our partners at Flyp.co offer a service where they will handle the sale of your vacant property and arrange a short-term let for you at the same time. They’ll also manage all the viewings and ensure that the property is cleaned and viewing-ready at all times.

Plus, they also offer a transformation service if the property needs some improvements or staging to help it sell (at no cost to you). Flyp’s selling service also provides access to multiple agents at a sole agency fee, so they are worth comparing against other local estate agents.


Should I sell my house now and rent?


Deciding to sell your house and rent is a big decision and not one to take lightly. If your motivation is because you think the property market is going to crash and you want to cash-in before that happens, this is a very risky move. If this doesn’t happen and prices actually rise, you could be much worse off.

Also, there is strong demand for rental properties in many areas so you may find you have to pay more for your rent than you are on your mortgage payments. So if you’re asking should I sell my house now and rent, do your research thoroughly.


How to speed up your house sale

If you’ve decided the answer to ‘Should I sell my house now?’ is yes – here’s how to do it as quickly as possible.


1. Find the best estate agent


Use our Best Estate Agent Finder to find the best local estate agent based on how quickly they sell, how often they achieve asking price, their success rate and more.


Online estate agents offer an affordable and, as the name suggests, online service. Take a look at our online estate agent comparison table which compares all the main providers, from PurpleBricks to YOPA so you can choose the right package and price for your house sale. Some online agents like Strike even offer to sell your house for free.


2. Instruct a solicitor as soon as you list

You can compare quotes now from conveyancing solicitors and speak to them about the process and costs so you’re ready to instruct them.


3. Find a legal team using a digital platform

They can complete transactions quicker. Find and compare quotes from conveyancing firms today.


4. Sort your Energy Performance Certificate

Also known as an EPC this has to be included with a sale by law. It shows how energy efficient your new home is and if you moved in within the last 10 years, yours is still valid. Here’s how to check if you have one or how to get one if you still need to.


5. Get your paperwork together

Locate certificates showing compliance with regulations of any works done from planning permissions to FENSA certificates for window replacements. If it’s a leasehold, find the lease. Don’t forget valid guarantees a home buyer will want to see. Here’s a list of essential documents for sale to get ready


6. Get a mortgage agreement in principle

If you are buying a property at the same time, start the mortgage process now by speaking to a mortgage broker about your options and getting a mortgage in principle.


7. Homebuyer protection insurance

Also, if you’re purchasing a new property, consider getting Home Buyers Protection Insurance which helps cover legal, survey and mortgage lending costs should your purchase fall through. Cover starts from just £69.

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